It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
No, it’s not the holidays — It’s back-to-school time! Sharpen your pencils, grab your notebooks, figure out your first-day-of-school outfit…Can you tell I love back-to-school time? There’s something so promising and magical about a brand new school year.
And now’s the time to start planning and organizing so that you can have the best school year ever.
Not quite sure where to start?
We’ve got you covered. Here are 29 life hacks to make this school year a good one!
Use symbols to take notes!
Taking thorough notes is always a good idea, but it can be tricky to write everything down quickly!
Adopt some shorthand symbols to use for certain things to cut your notetaking time down significantly.
Keep those apples from turning brown.
After slicing an apple for your lunch, use a rubber band to secure the slices back together. This will keep them from turning brown before you get a chance to enjoy them.
If you have young kids in school, consider planning a week’s worth of outfits all at once in order to make getting ready in the morning go more smoothly.
(Of course, you can also do this for yourself!)
Gather everything you’ll need for homework in one location in order to cut down on distractions or procrastination (e.g. “I’ll start studying; I just have to grab my calculator first!”)
This next hack will come in handy next time you have to write a book report.
A book report in 15 easy steps.
For the most part, every book report is comprised of these things. Don’t get overwhelmed; just cover each of these 15 items in a sentence or two each and voila! Instant book report!
(This one’s not just for school!)
Keep ponytail holders on a carabiner rather than taking them off in every room throughout the house. This will make doing your hair before school much faster (because you won’t have to go hunting down a ponytail holder every morning).
Don’t be afraid to highlight — but make sure you’re doing in a way that’s actually going to be helpful!
Color coding is an excellent way to make sure your notes are actually useful to you later.
And speaking of color coding…
Use it in your planner or journal, too!
The more organization you do before classes actually start, the better you’ll feel as the assignments begin to pile up.
Note-taking is the No. 1 most useful skill to master when it comes to schoolwork. Make sure you have a method that works for you. Remember: The main purpose of notes is to refer back to them later when you’re studying for the exam!
This next hack may be a teeny bit extra, but I kind of love it anyway.
Notecards! Notecards! Notecards!
After you take notes, make notecards!
Get creative with color-coding, use of whitespace, and symbols. I also love the hole-punch method used here.
Make sure to have these things with you!
You can never be too prepared, right?
I also recommend adding gum, extra pens or pencils, and some emergency cash!
Actually study during study time.
It can be difficult to stay focused during a study sesh — that’s why it’s important to make sure you have everything you need and eliminate distractions ahead of time.
Trust me: Life will be much easier for you if you can become a morning person. But that’s not an easy task for some!
These tips might help you!
Bonus tip: Take notes while viewing the PowerPoint presentation! (And you already know what to do with those notes, right?) 😉
Next up: How to create the perfect study table.
Once again, planning ahead is the key to staying focused and getting your work done.
(However, once you have your timetable scheduled, remember to be flexible and not freak out if you have to switch things up a bit!)
Hey, we’re living in a digital world! No need to resort to only textbooks and worksheets.
Chances are there’s an app out there that can help with virtually everything school-related.
The secret to retaining information entails more than simply writing it down. You also have to read it, and it helps if you say it aloud, too.
Even better? Teach the concept to someone else — your parents, a sibling, or even your dog!
As you add notes on different topics, add that info to your table of contents. When it comes time to revise, you’ll instantly know where to turn.
(I recommend adding page numbers to your notebook pages to make this even easier!)
Use the Pomodoro technique!
I actually use this method pretty much every day with work, too!
Knowing that you have several hours of work to do can get overwhelming. Breaking that work into smaller chunks makes everything feel much more manageable and keeps you from getting too overwhelmed. (P.S. there are several apps for this!)
This next tip is one for those who want to add a little style to their lives.
Sure, it’s not something that has to be done, but it’s fun and a great way to express your style, plus you could organize it in a way that makes your school day easier. What’s not to love?
This is another tip that’s just good advice for everyday life, too.
In fact, this has reminded me to save this article right now. Aaaand done.
Bring your study notes into the shower!
In the days leading up to a big test, constant exposure to your study notes can definitely be beneficial (within reason! Don’t forget to take a break every now and then!).
Place your notecards in plastic bags so they’re waterproof for shower-time study.
Write reminders, vocab words, goals, or anything else on sticky notes and put ’em on your mirror so you can glance at them while you get ready for your day. (You might want to leave a little bit of space for you to see yourself, obvs.)
What’s that? More color-coding?
While reading a book, use different colors of highlighters to make note of different kinds of information.
Next up: the key to NOT falling behind in your classes!
You can do this!
I believe in you!
This is such a cool method — and it’s less wasteful than using an entire notecard for every single term!
Two words: Shoe. Organizers.
They’re not just for shoes!
Use one in your locker various supplies and accouterments, or put one near your desk at home.
You can even color-code your timeline!
This way you know when you have to really start panicking about an assignment. Or, if you’ve followed the rest of these hacks, just feel totally calm and cool about it and not even panic a little bit.
This one is super clever. Even if it doesn’t work, hey — at least you’ve got gum, right?
Share this with a fellow student!